Ghost and the Darkness

The Ghost and the Darkness

4.6 12
Director: Stephen Hopkins

Cast: Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom Wilkinson

     
 

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A man bringing modern transportation to the ancient jungles of Africa discovers one of man's oldest enemies lays in wait for him in this period adventure drama. John Beaumont (Tom Wilkinson) is the owner of a British railroad firm who is building a rail line through Uganda. A bridge is needed so that the tracks may cross a large river, and engineer John Henry

Overview

A man bringing modern transportation to the ancient jungles of Africa discovers one of man's oldest enemies lays in wait for him in this period adventure drama. John Beaumont (Tom Wilkinson) is the owner of a British railroad firm who is building a rail line through Uganda. A bridge is needed so that the tracks may cross a large river, and engineer John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) is summoned to the African nation to supervise construction. While Beaumont has placed Patterson under a strict deadline, the bridge designer is certain that with his guidance, the local laborers will be able to complete the job in time. However, when several workers are killed in an attack by a lion, Patterson is forced to deal with the animal; while he bags a lion who invades the work site one evening, it soon becomes obvious that there's more than one predator in the nearby jungle. The lion attacks continue, eventually claiming the lives of 130 men, and Patterson and Beaumont finally agree to call in Charles Remmington (Michael Douglas), an expert hunter who understands the nature of the man-eaters and knows how to lure them into his trap. The Ghost and the Darkness is based on a true story, which was previously brought to the screen in 1953, in Arch Oboler's pioneering 3-D adventure Bwana Devil.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
This action film from writer William Goldman and director Stephen Hopkins grafts a true story onto the structure and character types of Jaws (1976) to create a derivative but admittedly spellbinding and effectively spooky film. The central bogeymen are a pair of lions instead of a shark, the locals are railroad laborers instead of vacationers, and the setting is Africa instead of an island beach community, but savvy viewers will get the gist of what the filmmakers are up to pretty quickly. In the place of the naïve sheriff we get a naïve architect (Val Kilmer), and in place of a seasoned sport fisherman we get a seasoned hunter (a grizzled Michael Douglas having fun in a role his father would have been comfortable inhabiting a few decades earlier). Point for point, Hopkins and Goldman ape the earlier classic, and the stunning revelation is that it works remarkably well, resulting in a taut, suspenseful film with an outcome never in doubt but leaving the viewer chilled, thrilled, and satisfied.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/1997
UPC:
0097363235033
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Douglas Charles Remington
Val Kilmer Col. John Henry Patterson
Tom Wilkinson John Beaumont
John Kani Samuel
Om Puri Abdullah
Bernard Hill Dr. Hawthorne
Brian McCardie Angus Starling
Henry Cele Mahina
Emily Mortimer Helena Patterson

Technical Credits
Stephen Hopkins Director
Michael Douglas Executive Producer
Jose Luis Escolar Asst. Director
Michael Games Production Manager
William Goldman Screenwriter
Jerry Goldsmith Songwriter
Grant Hill Co-producer
A. Kitman Ho Producer
Gale Anne Hurd Producer
Simon Kaye Sound/Sound Designer
Steve Mirkovich Editor
Ellen Mirojnick Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul B. Radin Producer
Steven E. Reuther Executive Producer
Robert Brown Editor
Mary Selway Casting
Sarah Trevis Casting
Stuart Wurtzel Production Designer
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer

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The Ghost and the Darkness 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Ghost and the Darkness is a simple tale; a man trying to build a bridge is interrupted by the local fauna, who seem to view his attempt as their own fast food delivery service. The real story here, though, is not about bridges and lions at all, but is about the nature of courage. As aptly put by Michael Douglas, flawlessly portraying the Great White Hunter, ''You have just been hit. Now, it is up to you whether you get up or not....'' Memorable characters, photography and scenery, a solid story line (and true, at that), make this a singular event.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music director of the film has done a superb job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Val Kilmer is my favorite actor and that is what made me watch this movie. Not only do I love Val's acting, but the movie I loved also. the fact that they can take a true story and turn it into such an entertaining action movie(staring the most awesome and hot actor)made me want to even do a school project on it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Val and Michael do such a great job in this excellent movie. This is my favorite movie, I love the music, the acting, and the plot. It is so suspenseful, sad, and scary. Like Samuel said, ''They are not lions, they are the Ghost and the Darkness.''
Guest More than 1 year ago
we watched this movie in my geography class and i loved it! my teacher also told us that the actual lions are in the Field Museum in Chicago. BUt this movie was the best one i have seen in a long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
while building a railroad would be the biggest moral of the story is that man is not always dominant, not even when you have the best hunter in the world in the form of the pompous and wild-eyed Charles Remington. I was actually rooting for the big cats in this because I don't like the British. Maybe it's the Irish in my past or something, but their arrogance supercedes any ethnic group I have known including Americans. The genius cats terrorize the railroad leader John Beaumont and others killing some 130 men. In other words, they killed because they liked to kill like serial killers. They were purely evil, those lions in Uganda. Remington gets killed but so do the cats and all ends well. But Mankind still needs his enemies, only now he just fights his own kind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this movie. I've watched it like 20 times and it never gets old.
dgb More than 1 year ago
I liked the movie when it came out. I had forgotten how really good it was until I watched it again. My 10 year old grandson watched it with me and couldn't take his eyes off the screen. A great action-packed movie.
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